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Mönchsambacher Lager - Brauerei Zehendner GmbH

Not Rated.
Mönchsambacher LagerMönchsambacher Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

41 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 41
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 11.16%
Wants: 73
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brauerei Zehendner GmbH
Germany

Style | ABV
Kellerbier / Zwickelbier |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 01-18-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 41 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Leftofthedial
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of alalvarez75
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of nas5755
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of putnam
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mönchsambach, the name of the town this beer is from, should translate roughly as "monks by the creek".

Was there the remotest doubt that I'd approve of this beer?

It's packed in the same Bamberger Rauchbier ten pack boxes. The bottles don't exactly fill it, so space holders were improvised from rolled up cardboard.

A thick layer of protein and yeast can be found at the bottom of the bottle so I poured it as carefully as I could to minimize the barely sunken matter in the glass.

I'm drinking it from a Riedel Vinum Syrah glass by the way. It's a bowl with a large volume, comparable to the Burgundy glass only tall and torpedo shaped. It works like a chimney, driving a warm, pungent bouquet into my sinuses.

Fruit, sweet herbs and butter. I so can't see how this could go wrong.

Of course it doesn't go wrong. Served at about 55 deg. F it's chewy and creamy with a hard spine of bitterness. The fruits are dazzling, like crushed ripe peaches and pears. It has a homemade feel only in that it tastes like fresh bread on the day it was baked (caramelized grains and yeast vigorous in presentation). I detect no sourness, not even the least amount of green apple or lemon flavored tang. Quite stony. Nobly cured herbs can be found in a sensory analysis of it, but the music is too strong for analysis at this time.

I will continue to enjoy this beer again and again as I've secured an option for 50 bottles. I hope no one else latches on to it.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, just wow, this is a very good beer. I was lucky to find it on tap at the Dirty Truth in Northampton, served in 1/2 liter mugs, and it took me straight to Bavaria.

The beer is clear, maybe a little haze, a pale gold color, with a few fingers of foam. The aroma is just dead on, bready and grainy, rich and malty, perfect. I've had only a handful of lagers that smell quite this appealing. The flavor was the same, just like liquid bread, delicious. A little sweet upfront and only a little bitter in back, very balanced but malty, the grains come through in a great way. Heavy body for a lager but still easily chugable. Any lover of German lagers should be happy with this one.

Photo of cichief
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had this beer from the barrel in Bamberg several times, but on this occasion I stopped at the brewery in Mönchsambach. The beer was so fresh and the lady of the house friendly. It was a great beer all around. The beer was amber in color and nearly clear, no sediment noticeable. This was a classic example of a German keller beer.

Photo of woosterbill
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask into a pint glass at the Blackback Pub. #1 ranked Kellerbier here we go!

A: Nearly clear yellow body with just a bit of unfiltered haziness to it. One inch head of pillowy white foam. Decent retention and lacing. Solid.

S: Mmm. Doughy, bready malt and plenty of fresh noble hops. Grassiness is huge, with a bit of citrus fruitiness to it as well. Incredibly clean, fresh, and balanced.

T: Follows the nose precisely: delicious grassy hops up front, substantial malt body in the middle, and some fruity hop bitterness on the clean, crisp finish. Very simple, balanced, and refreshing.

M: Substantial medium body with plenty of lively carbonation - probably the highest carbonation I've ever experienced from a cask, to the point of being a tough too prickly. Still, amazing.

O: What a lager. If I could get this fresh, cheap, and abundantly, it would be my go-to summer beer. Refreshing and yet still flavorful, hoppy but not overly bitter, sessionable but not watery. Terrific stuff.

Cheers!

Photo of miguellunarusso
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%

Photo of nomad
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A pale grainy yellow, even a careful pour shows yeast and protein chips, but also a heavenly pillow of a head, soft and flouffy mousse a finger thick and impervious. Thick lace left all over the glass.

Many sites of miniscule carbonation raise aromas of hay and tight electric lemons. Opens to round, slick, and large pils sweetness, and near room temperature brings out purified esters in hiding, naught remnants of "farmhouse" styling. All over soft and fairly naked for a low gravity lager.

When freshly cold it shows surreal flavors of unripe pears, lemon-soaked bananas, absurdly thick pils malt mouthfeel and sweetish clean grains. So intertwined is the fullness and slick pale malt purity that its hard to experience, let along explain, them apart. Simultaneously the hops are slaking with herbal and high-pitched citrus flavors, turning over in the finish with oily freshness, chewy and mouth rippling like raw raddichio. A little too much for my taste, but a case of this beer could change my mindon that. The dryness ends up as much a matter mouthfeel as taste, especially considering its coupling with its disappearing act on the mouth from real live acidity. Poof, gone! Just like truly aged lambic or fine champagne. I also get husky echos in the gaps between quaffs, furthering the complexity of this beer.

This is a lager, correct? This is absurd amounts of depth and breadth in a non-ale. If you can't vouchsafe for freshness I'd be wary of buying this, especially if not refrigerated. I dream of drinking this even fresher on draught in Franconia.

Photo of CRJMellor
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Gift from trbeer.
Poured a hazy golden yellow with waht seemed liked thousands of little yeasties struggling to swim in the current of effervescence. Big, puffy slightly off-white head that could lay a bottle cap on.
Aroma is light and airy with basic pale malt and grassy and hay aromas eminating from the glass.
Flavor was delicious, great balance of moderate malt sweet notes and crisp refreshing hop balance. Slightly vegetal notes but only accentuated the wonderful crispness of the beer. Hint of green apple as it warmed just a bit.
Mouthfeel was exquisite, just the right balance of sweet and bitter produces a delightful quaff. Each swig got better and produced a crescendo of well-balanced malt goodness.
Drinkability was absolutely world class and top notch. Amazingly thirst quenching and left me wanting many, many more. I can think of no flaws from a balance standpoint and the flavor really rounds out well as you work through the bottle. If you love lager, find this beer.

Photo of twelvsies
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've really been digging the German biers recently. I got a hold of this one from a friend who raved about it, and I must agree that it is in fact raveworthy. Pours a bright gold color, though it doesn't have the usual clearness of a typical German lager. There are literally bits of yeast or grain suspended in the murky straw colored beer. Some might view this as a flaw, I just think it's interesting. Didn't have a grainy mouthfeel at all by the way, it was silky smooth and light on the palate. Smell and taste have a distinct, almost mead-like honey characteristic up front. Lots of peppery spices and a bit of funkyness to this one, really bizarre. Excellent spicy hops. Hallertau? Saaz? Just a guess. All of this is backed by an awesomely light German maltyness. Almost wheaty. Like I said before this one is ultra smooth and nice and light on the palate and uber drinkable. I doubt if I'll ever come across this beer again, but I'll definately be on the lookout, and I'll be exploring this style a little more.

Photo of fingolfin72
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My brother-in-law, trbeer, brought this one to me.

It pours a rich, hazy gold, and it's full of yeastie floaties. The head is fine, white and persistent; it left lovely lacing around the glass. Especially attractive when enjoyed outdoors in the sunshine.

Nose- Fresh, wheaty aromas with some fresh fruit and floral hop notes. Subtle and well-integrated.

Palate- Smooth, with a lively but not overdone effervescence. Notes of citrus, apple, grass and hops are nicely woven together. The mouthfeel and balance are the great attributes of this beer, showing Old World skill with tasty beverages (French wines can show this great integration also). The carbonation, maltiness, hops and mineral are all in balance. Easy to drink, but not forgettable.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a gravity cask at Churchkey during an event yesterday.

Pours a cloudy light yellow color with a pretty good-sized white head and nearly all-encompassing lacing as it went down. Nose brought good scents of light grain, hints of lemon citrus, and a bit of bread dough. The taste adds in some light fruity notes. Altogether, everything melds together quite well and while the flavors are very delicate, they are quite tasty. Feel is light with good carbonation; super crisp.

Drinkability was incredible. Prior to this, I hadn't had much experience with the style, so I thought I might have been overrating this at first. However, after quite a few other pours from different casks, it became clear that this was the best of the bunch and a great, great beer in its own right.

Photo of GeoffreyM
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of drabmuh
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This has been a long time, short list, want of mine, for years. I had relegated this beer to the ether though, figuring that I would have be near the brewery in Bavaria to ever find it on draft or in the bottle, but then Churchkey cam to the rescue, yet again. Gravity cask at Churchkey in D.C. Part of their Franconia Oktoberfest special. Beer served in a 10 ounce beer flute. Beer is yellow and hazy with a thick white head of small and medium bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to low, head falls away eventually and breaks. Looks pretty good.

Aroma is mild, a little sweet, slight bitterness, slight graininess, smells pretty good too.

I imagine that this is the way that beers used to be, hundreds of years ago. Its light in body, creamy in the mouth, has a slight bitter edge at the back but no aftertaste. Finishes wet, some mild yeastiness and some mild graininess, its super drinkable, its "crisp", which is an adjective I usually feel people use when they don't know what to say, and that's me now. I could drink gallons of this beer, as if it were water, nonstop. It is ineffable.

Photo of herrburgess
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of sponberg
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Half liter bottle, from Halftime, mindestens haltbar bis (best before) 4/21. Pours a cloudy yellow gold with a white head that fades pretty quickly to a fine lace. Smells like beer - as in "walk into a small south German village and get a mass of their local beer" beer.Grainy malt, slightly estery yeast, and spicy noble hops.

Man, this takes me back 20 or so years to when I was sitting in a gasthaus outside of Coburg, on vacation with my family, watching soccer and drinking the local kellerbier. Earthy, sweet-grainy malt dominates with a fine, subtle hop spiciness - the bitterness just rests on the tongue rather than landing thud on it like a pig's knuckle. Slightly yeast-estery, sort of a slight Bit O' Honey flavor. Very aromatic on the palate, if that makes sense. Finishes clean, almost lemony in its cleanness. Slightly tingly, very refreshing mouthfeel. I could sit around a gasthof all day long drinking these with an occasional meal - wurst, schnitzel, it'd all be good.

Aside: I raise my glass in a toast to my mom's sister, Tante Hanni, who was one of our hosts in Germany and who passed away this morning at 87. Prost!

Photo of ppoitras
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" bright white head over the almost clear yellow gold brew. Head holds steady, with plentiful bubbly white lacing. Aroma is pale malts and crisp hops. Taste is sweet pale malt with a crisp, lightly spicy hoppiness. Mouthfeel is soft throughout the mouth, and drinkability is excellent. Could see this one in a big old stein, for sure.

Photo of Amalak
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had at d.b.a. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn out of a gravity dispense cask. It's gold with lots of sediment yet see through. Great head and lacing and a pure pilsner scent.

It's a perfectly balanced lager/pilsner. Though it's listed as a lager, it taste like a pilsner, to me anyway. Has a slight fruitiness that's dominated by hops.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle. label is notched/marked for a best by of "12 apr", but no year.

golden straw with tones of brown, especially from the abundant lumps of yeast sediment, making it cloudy. moderate head fades to thin layer. decent lacing, esp. in the 2nd half of the glass.

lightly toasted, bready malts in the aroma, with gentle noble hops. clean, with just a trace of sulfur.

sweet, bready malt continues on the palate. hint of fruity white grape sweetness too. nice moderate noble hop profile gives a grassy note, then gentle bitterness to balance. clean finish with just a trace of yeast.

medium body, relatively smooth, with prickly, lively carbonation.

i had no idea this is actually a keller/zwickel. that helps to bring up the appearance score, which otherwise would have been marked down slightly because of all the sediment.

drinkability should be a 5.0, and taste 4.3 or 4.4

Photo of unimatrix1
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of DirkNachbar
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of zrab11
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of danadeny
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Props to BeerPanther for bringing this into the store. Appearance is light cloudy yellow at the bottom of the wizen glass and turns a couple shades more orange as the glass widens at the top. And when the label says natural beer that’s exactly what you see in the body. Lots of particles swirling and swimming around. Respectable head too. For smell I get a good fresh hefe smell. Hints of orange, maybe even a little lemon, but no banana like some hefe's (yeah I know this is not a hefe). But the smell is not distinctly pilsner either. Tasted is nutty, a bit of almond, classic citrus tang on the front of the tongue, mild hops, and great balance. Mouthfeel has got to be one of the best I have ever felt. Like a lot of German fresh beers sometimes I find them over carbonated and burp after every sip. Sure the carbonation adds to the refreshing sensation but this beer does it without the excess foam on the way down. Great balance, great mouthfeel, and a refreshing flavor equals a high drinkability in my book. The one think keeping this beer from a better score is that nothing stands out to grab my attention. Almost as if this beer is lacking a distinction, lacking a character. In the car world this beer would be a Toyota Camery. Solid, reliable, hard to hate, does every technical attribute perfectly, a perfect transportation module. But where is the passion and soul?

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Mönchsambacher Lager from Brauerei Zehendner GmbH
94 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.